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Old Mar 10th 2017, 6:40 am   #1
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Default Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

Hi all,

I've been in New Zealand since '95, when my dad took me & my sister to live in New Zealand because he wanted a new start in life. Now naturally I have only dim recollections of life in Britain, as I was very young when I left. I know many people say the country has gone to pot, and may even be past fixing, and I'd be better off here in New Zealand. However in all my years here I've always had a yearning to return, and a lack of connection to NZ. I've talked about leaving several times and done nothing more than get my passport. I believe my indecisiveness on going or staying has been more a fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of what would happen if I left over the certainty of staying.

That said, has anyone else here settled back home after a childhood/early adulthood spend away? If so how hard is it to get used to different slang/accents, money and sometimes reversed seasons? Did locals consider you an outsider or constantly tell you that you should have stayed and/or should go back? Basically how hard is it to settle? From my own research it seems pretty tough to get banking, doctors etc set up when you have no records/past in the UK because you left as child when parents took care of that.
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Old Mar 10th 2017, 7:34 am   #2
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

I can't answer most of your questions, but I can reassure you that you won't be regarded as an outsider, or find it difficult to register with a doctor.
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Old Mar 10th 2017, 6:13 pm   #3
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

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Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 View Post
Hi all,

I've been in New Zealand since '95, when my dad took me & my sister to live in New Zealand because he wanted a new start in life. Now naturally I have only dim recollections of life in Britain, as I was very young when I left. I know many people say the country has gone to pot, and may even be past fixing, and I'd be better off here in New Zealand. However in all my years here I've always had a yearning to return, and a lack of connection to NZ. I've talked about leaving several times and done nothing more than get my passport. I believe my indecisiveness on going or staying has been more a fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of what would happen if I left over the certainty of staying.

That said, has anyone else here settled back home after a childhood/early adulthood spend away? If so how hard is it to get used to different slang/accents, money and sometimes reversed seasons? Did locals consider you an outsider or constantly tell you that you should have stayed and/or should go back? Basically how hard is it to settle? From my own research it seems pretty tough to get banking, doctors etc set up when you have no records/past in the UK because you left as child when parents took care of that.

I also cant answer your questions but if i may just say. We took our family to NZ for 6 years, we had never been anywhere before when we sold up and took the plunge.
We are from the Midlands, its all we knew but my husband refused to go back there. So we started again in North Yorkshire. We had never even visited but took a chance and have never regretted it.
Just watch where you go, decide whether you want a large or small town etc. You will be embraced easier into a smaller town.
Go for it, its worth a go.
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Old Mar 10th 2017, 6:55 pm   #4
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

couple of points on the 'yearning to return'

In the time that you have been in NZ have you visited the UK, say in the past 10-15 years ?

Before you make the leap of faith & total break from NZ, have you considered a test run at it, say 3 months in the UK springtime to Autumn?

Have you any family still in the UK that you are in contact with who may offer temporary accommodation & help with settlement?

On the move itself as far as your rights - as a British citizen (British passport up to date) you have the same rights to live, work & play., come & go as you please

I wouldn't be too concerned about language/dialect or culture, you should be fine.

As a Brit back home & residing in the UK you are entitled to medical care, the NHS, Doctors, opening a bank account, looking for work, having a place to stay - is all part of the moving back & settling in which may take a while for you to get adjusted to

Good luck with it all
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Old Mar 10th 2017, 8:06 pm   #5
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

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Originally Posted by Editha View Post
I can't answer most of your questions, but I can reassure you that you won't be regarded as an outsider, or find it difficult to register with a doctor.
And with an address and a passport, and your NI number (you probably don't have one, so will need to apply for one), you won't have any problem opening a bank account.

You might find a few who express surprise at you wanting to return, but I expect they'll be in a tiny minority.

So far as accents go, have you acquired a kiwi accent? Do you know if you're likely to pick up a local accent after you return, as that will, to some degree, affect how people see you. My accent hasn't changed a whole lot since I left Sheffield when I was eight years old, and has been one of the factors that has shaped my life. My accent stuck out like a sore thumb in Gloucester where I completed school, and then London where I went to uni and started my career. Now I have spent 15 years in the US and still get multiple comments on my accent most weeks, and talking with them people clearly think I have arrived recently! .... The diffence is that in the US comments are always positive, whereas in London my accent seemed to have the opposite effect on people.
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Old Mar 10th 2017, 8:34 pm   #6
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

Quote:
Originally Posted by not2old View Post
couple of points on the 'yearning to return'

In the time that you have been in NZ have you visited the UK, say in the past 10-15 years ?

Before you make the leap of faith & total break from NZ, have you considered a test run at it, say 3 months in the UK springtime to Autumn?

Have you any family still in the UK that you are in contact with who may offer temporary accommodation & help with settlement?

On the move itself as far as your rights - as a British citizen (British passport up to date) you have the same rights to live, work & play., come & go as you please

I wouldn't be too concerned about language/dialect or culture, you should be fine.

As a Brit back home & residing in the UK you are entitled to medical care, the NHS, Doctors, opening a bank account, looking for work, having a place to stay - is all part of the moving back & settling in which may take a while for you to get adjusted to

Good luck with it all
No, I haven't been back since leaving, since getting back is expensive and I'm not exactly flush with cash. And yes, I do have relatives who might be glad of extra funds when the time comes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
And with an address and a passport, and your NI number (you probably don't have one, so will need to apply for one), you won't have any problem opening a bank account.

You might find a few who express surprise at you wanting to return, but I expect they'll be in a tiny minority.

So far as accents go, have you acquired a kiwi accent? Do you know if you're likely to pick up a local accent after you return, as that will, to some degree, affect how people see you. My accent hasn't changed a whole lot since I left Sheffield when I was eight years old, and has been one of the factors that has shaped my lift. My accent stuck out like a sore thumb in Gloucester where I completed school, and then London where I went to uni and started my career. Now I have spent 15 years in the US and still get multiple comments on my accent most weeks, and talking with them people clearly think I have arrived recently!
I had forgot about the NI number, but I probably would have been told when talking to IRD or whatever the UK version is in preparing to move. As far as accents, I think mine is partway between my dad's more posh accent, a kiwi one and sometimes lapsing into the Chester accent on rare occassions. Several Brits I've met have said I sound un-mistakably British when I mentioned that I too was British. Though one has said that I didn't at all, but I think he was just pulling my leg to get a rise out of me.
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Old Mar 10th 2017, 11:13 pm   #7
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

Flight NZ to UK return are expensive aren't they. It's why so many of us are unable to visit family and friends as much as we would like.

I dunno Celticprince_86. I feel this is an itch that you simply must scratch.
So perhaps contact your rellies and think about taking a bar job or similar and look on this as a bit of a late-ish OE.

If you feel the fit , you stay. If you don't and it comes to you that NZ is your comfy slipper , then travel about a bit up there and come back to settle to an NZ life. It's what so many Kiwis do after all.
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Old Mar 10th 2017, 11:32 pm   #8
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

Yeah, even saving enough for a one way flight is a fair bit of money for anyone, let alone me who is not in full-time employment. Luckily through saving wages I have earned in the past fortnight, saving weekly from my benefit plus selling off a few things I already have $520. Not bad for about 2 weeks of getting serious about it. I hope to have a full-time job soon which will allow me to save at least $100 a week.

When I get back, I expect to feel part happy and settled with equal parts unhappy and unsettled. Basically I think it'll be like my first few years here. I'll eventually get used to pounds instead of dollars, summer in the middle of the year etc

My hope is that I can secure a job in my hometown's tourism industry, and help support my nan and auntie.
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Old Apr 21st 2017, 7:28 am   #9
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

OK, bit of an update!
On Wednesday (19th) I had saved $900 through hard saving each week. I occasionally go on various websites to keep a tab on price fluctuations so I can see if there's a good time to buy in terms of reducing cost. I picked a random date of December 1st on Air New Zealands site and in the results I saw that the first was nearer to $1000 ($970, I think) but cheaper on the two days before. I clicked back until the price reached $840.

I mulled it over for a while, and then after encouragement from friends and family, I booked my flight. I leave on 23 November at 1:15am flying air New Zealand to Singapore, then on Singapore airlines (code share with Air NZ) on to London! I have six months to go, and I already have all my transport (bus/train) sorted, so it's just saving the spending money, sorting accommodation (hopefully an auntie will be willing to have me as a paying guest for a while) and selling pretty much all I own, which I either don't need (various fripperies) or are replaceable.

To those in NW England/NE Wales in particular, what is Nov/Dec like? sunset/rise, average temp etc? What sort of clothing should I dress in? By the end of May, I should have another $500 saved.

Also, is it better to get my NI number before or after arriving? I hope to have a job lined up before I arrive, so before may be best. I already have my new NHS number

Last edited by Celticprince_86; Apr 21st 2017 at 7:34 am.
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Old Apr 21st 2017, 10:18 am   #10
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

Congratulations on taking the plunge. Good luck to you Celticprince.
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Old Apr 21st 2017, 12:36 pm   #11
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 View Post
OK, bit of an update!
On Wednesday (19th) I had saved $900 through hard saving each week. I occasionally go on various websites to keep a tab on price fluctuations so I can see if there's a good time to buy in terms of reducing cost. I picked a random date of December 1st on Air New Zealands site and in the results I saw that the first was nearer to $1000 ($970, I think) but cheaper on the two days before. I clicked back until the price reached $840.

I mulled it over for a while, and then after encouragement from friends and family, I booked my flight. I leave on 23 November at 1:15am flying air New Zealand to Singapore, then on Singapore airlines (code share with Air NZ) on to London! I have six months to go, and I already have all my transport (bus/train) sorted, so it's just saving the spending money, sorting accommodation (hopefully an auntie will be willing to have me as a paying guest for a while) and selling pretty much all I own, which I either don't need (various fripperies) or are replaceable.

To those in NW England/NE Wales in particular, what is Nov/Dec like? sunset/rise, average temp etc? What sort of clothing should I dress in? By the end of May, I should have another $500 saved.

Also, is it better to get my NI number before or after arriving? I hope to have a job lined up before I arrive, so before may be best. I already have my new NHS number

I think you have to have a permanent address in the UK to get a national Insurance number.
Weather will be Cold ! Coat, fleece, jeans.
best of luck to you - keep this thread updated as to what is going on and how you are doing!
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Old Apr 21st 2017, 1:20 pm   #12
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

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.... To those in NW England/NE Wales in particular, what is Nov/Dec like? sunset/rise, average temp etc? What sort of clothing should I dress in? ....
Congratulations on taking the plunge!

Expect it to be cool and damp, with possible overnight frosts, don't expect it to be warmer than around 10°-12°C - it could be warmer, but don't expect it to be. Needless to say it could rain at any time - that's not to say it will rain every day, but it could.

Sunset in late November/early December is going to be around 4.15pm, and will eventually recede further, back to before 4pm by December 21st. Sunrise won't be until around 8am. .... On days when there is heavy cloud, it will feel like the sun barely rises at all - in December it is only about 15° above the horizon!
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Old Apr 21st 2017, 5:15 pm   #13
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

Isn't human nature wonderful. There are some people in UK desperate to immigrate and others who have immigrated desperate to return. I suppose the grass looks greener on the other side, until you get there and see it's AstroTurf.
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Old Apr 21st 2017, 6:45 pm   #14
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

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Originally Posted by Celticprince_86 View Post
Also, is it better to get my NI number before or after arriving?
If the OP never had an NI number before he left the UK, then he will need to apply for one as soon as he is in the UK. Please see link below for details -

https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

You can only apply for an NI number inside the UK.
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Old Apr 21st 2017, 6:52 pm   #15
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Default Re: Settling back in the UK after spending most of your life abroad

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If the OP never had an NI number before he left the UK, then he will need to apply for one as soon as he is in the UK. Please see link below for details -

https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

You can only apply for an NI number inside the UK.
Cheers! I'll have to do that in the first week I'm back (once I get over the jetlag and temperature inversion. (going from late spring to late autumn!)
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